AAAI Publications, Fourth Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search

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Position Paper: Dijkstra's Algorithm versus Uniform Cost Search or a Case Against Dijkstra's Algorithm
Ariel Felner

Last modified: 2011-07-05

Abstract


Dijkstra's single-source shortest-path algorithm (DA) is one of the well-known, fundamental algorithms in computer science and related fields. DA is commonly taught in undergraduate courses. Uniform-cost search (UCS) is a simple version of the best-first search scheme which is logically equivalent to DA. In this paper I compare the two algorithms and show their similarities and differences. I claim that UCS is superior to DA in almost all aspects. It is easier to understand and implement. Its time and memory needs are also smaller. The reason that DA is taught in universities and classes around the world is probably only historical. I encourage people to stop using and teaching DA, and focus on UCS only.

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